Kid Richmond, Meredith Garrison, and I got a chance to sit down with Delegate Lionell Spruill (D-77th) today. The Delegate representing Chesapeake/Suffolk in Hampton Roads voted against the film tax credit bill (HB861) on second reading in the House. He told us he couldn’t support a credit for a business that won’t stay in Virginia – they shoot their movie and leave.
The VPA team explained how each production that comes to the Commonwealth builds the talent and crew that serve the film industry in Virginia. Offering incentives to short-lived movies and TV shows creates a sustainable production industry in the State.
To my surprise and delight, Del. Spruill noted that no one had laid out film incentives to him in that way before. He saw how creating jobs using tax credits for motion picture production has a positive impact on Virginia’s filmmakers and our whole State economy. He had come around to support our bill.
I tell you this story hoping to communicate how influential you can be. Sometimes all a legislator needs is to hear from constituents. With less than a week to go in the 2010 session, every VPA member has an opportunity to talk directly to their representative about preserving their job in Virginia. Your voice can change minds.
— Alfred Shapiro, VPA Treasurer